Realizing Arlington’s Commitment to Equity

RACE Header 2023

Racial inequity affects our present-day lives, but just as importantly, our future. In September 2019, the County Board adopted an Equity Resolution. To further this commitment to equity, Arlington County Government and Arlington Public Schools participated in a 10-month racial equity cohort program convened by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments in partnership with the Government Alliance on Race and Equity, specifically identifying racial equity as a priority. This means closing race-based outcome gaps so race does not predict one’s success while improving outcomes for everyone; moving beyond services to focus on policies, institutions and structures. The County puts forward the below framework for a Racial Equity Action Plan to be developed with the community and organization. 



VIDEO UPDATES: View the latest on the County’s equity efforts:




Framework for a Racial Equity Action Plan


  1. 2023 RACE Roadmap.PNGVision - An equitable Arlington is one where all are valued, educated, healthy and safe regardless of race.
  2. Mission - As an employee, resident or business in Arlington, advance racial equity as a county-wide priority to eliminate, reduce, and prevent disparities in our policies, procedures practices, engagement, and interaction with and service to the community.

Equity Lens

circle.jpgThe ultimate measure of success is when racial equity as a value, is what we believe and becomes what we all advance as a matter of practice, standard operating procedure; it is just what we do.

A racial equity lens is defined by the Gemini Company as “a critical thinking exercise to help cultivate and maintain an equity mindset.  It is the umbrella under which a Racial Equity Tool is devised and used.  It is a means to think about operationalizing Equity.  

We ask the below questions to understand whether and where there are racial inequities existing, being created or being exacerbated in a policy, procedure, practice or program whether we are developing it or modifying it.

Advancing Racial Equity In Government

  1. Normalize - A shared understanding, knowledge and terminology around racial equity within the organization and among the community. Racial equity is accepted as an imperative and priority throughout the organization and within the community.
  2. Organize - A sustainable and supported structure to advance racial equity to include personnel and resources that become a defined and integral component of the organization and the system. Build the capacity of the organization and within the community and commit and dedicate resources to support identified areas of need.
  3. Operationalize - Racial equity is a matter of principle in developing and considering the impact policies, plans, and decisions have on all residents as well as employees. Use the racial equity lens, tools and disaggregated data to identify where systemic and institutional racism presents itself and make the changes needed to dismantle it.
  4. Assess - Every employee, resident and person who interacts with the County sees themselves in the work, the process, the system and structure. Evaluate where we are, what we have done and how we are doing; what things do we need to change, adjust and how we evolve overtime to respond to changes in the workforce, culture, and community.

View Arlington County's full plan for Advancing Racial Equity In Government


Race and Ethnicity Dashboard


NEW! The Race and Ethnicity Dashboard has been updated with the 2022 American Community Survey (ACS) estimates released in December 2023. The dashboard includes trend data and splits the variables into thematic categories by demographic, household, and labor force data. Explore the latest update.

The CPHD Population and Demographic Estimates Dashboard (beta version) provides demographic profiles for Arlington’s Civic Associations, which do not align to U.S. Census Bureau geographies. 


Racial History Timelines

Acknowledging the racialized origins and policies of United States history is fundamental for communities to gain knowledge and understanding of racial equity. The following timelines document key historical events in Arlington County related to housing, education, community facilities, public safety, transportation, urban planning, public infrastructure, and more. Learn more or check out the timelines below.

Racial-History-Timeline-1930-1945.png   Racial-History-Timeline-1946-1960.png   Racial-History-Timeline-1961-1975.png  
 1930-1945  1946-1960  1961-1975


Tools and Resources

Equity Initiatives


County Contact

Amber Barnett
Director of Race & Equity Programs
Office of the County Manager


Educational Equity Contact

Arlington Public Schools Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Student Support

Executive Director of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion: Tyrone Byrd

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Specialist: Cristin Caparotta